Haggerty gets 100th win as Mustangs rally past Adams State

It took Midwestern State coach Nelson Haggerty just four seasons and three games to claim his 100th win as the leader of the 22nd-ranked Mustangs.
It also took a monster 29-point performance by senior guard Jordan to ensure the victory as MSU overcame a 14-point first-half deficit to beat Adams State 95-87 Saturday night at Plachy Hall.
"I feel really fortunate and blessed," Haggerty said. "This is a program that has such a great tradition. It is great to be able to continue that success."
Adams State shot 55 percent from the field hitting on six 3-pointers to open up a 14-point lead when Joe Bell Austin's layup gave the Grizzlies a 44-30 lead with 3:43 remaining in the first half.
"They pose so many matchup problems," Haggerty said. "They spread you and force your bigs to get out there and play. They force you to really guard them. It seems like they knocked down every open shot they had."
The Mustangs responded with a 12-1 run early in the second half ignited by a dunk and layup by senior forward Khapri Alston before Sheldon Hagigal and Bretson McNeal hit triples to pull MSU even at 60-60 with 12:44 to play.
"Once we settled down and got the ball out quick and got some stops," Haggerty said. "Any time you're able to get stops and not take the ball out of the net, you generate better offense."
The Mustangs limited ASU to 31 percent shooting in the second half and ended up with a seven-board advantage on the glass.
Pat Smith's triple with 11:05 to play gave Midwestern its first lead of the night at 65-62 and spurred a 12-2 run as the Mustangs extended the gap to 10 at 75-65 when Hagigal completed a traditional three-point play at the 7:53 mark of the second half.
Adams State found the range from the arc in the late going clawing back to within three with 2:33 to play, but Stevens hit a pair free throws and a triple to keep the Grizzlies at bay.
Stevens connected on 10-of-19 shots including three triples to finish with 29 points, four rebounds and five assists. The Duquesne transfer notched 15 points in the second half as the Mustangs outscored the Grizzlies 55-36.
"Jordan has the ability to pop up and make shots," Haggerty said. "When he's pushing the ball and getting guys on their heels, he just creates great offense. What a great game for him."
Alston also chipped 15 of his 17 points in the second half going 8-of-10 from the field, while senior Hershell Grant added 12 points and four rebounds.
Hagigal scored in double figures for a three consecutive game off of the bench finishing with 11 points.
"We found a way to win tonight," Haggerty said. "This is the first we had to deal with not playing well and were losing a basketball game. We didn't panic. I'm glad our guys came out what it takes to win a basketball game. I'm glad we experienced this. It's something we will see as the season moves on."
E.J. Hubbard II buried five 3-pointers to pace Adams State, which fell to 0-3 on the season.